Blechnum vittatum

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Blechnum vittatum


Asia-Tropical: New Guinea present, Kuranda, Queensland, NE Australia, Santa Cruz Islands present, Solomon Islands present
Malesia: New Guinea widespread but intermittent. Outside Malesia: Solomon Islands and the Santa Cruz Islands. A single specimen at BM labelled as from Kuranda, Queensland, Podenzana s.n. would extend this species to NE Australia if the locality could be confirmed as correct.


Croft 1112 (NSW 396087) in notes on a specimen from Manus Island (Papua New Guinea) reports “Very young leaves red, apparently eaten by the villagers”.


1. Blechnum vittatum was originally considered to be endemic to Fiji (Brownlie 1977). However, there appears to be no consistent difference between these plants and plants from the New Guinea area previously known as B. dentatum. Although the Fijian specimens usually have black striped stipes, only some of the New Guinea material has black stripes while other plants (e.g. Croft 2101, New Ireland, NSW 396084) have, on the same plant, some fronds with stripes and some without.
2. While many of the specimens from outside Fiji also tend to have very coarse lower stipe scales, this character is not consistent across all specimens and it may be related to growth in an exposed habitat. It would seem therefore that stipe coloration and stipe scale thickness are variable characters that cannot be used to separate B. dentatum from B. vittatum. It should be noted that B. dentatum has pinna margins that are no more dentate than those of B. vittatum.
3. The unpublished ‘Blechnum (Eublechnum) hooglandii’ of Alston, e.g. from Mt Dayman, Maneau Range, 700 m, banks of stream in rain forest, L.J. Brass 23408 (A) is almost certainly an ecological variant of B. vittatum.
4. Possibly closely related is B. egregium from the Philippines, with at least one confirmed record from Papua New Guinea; both species produce bright red young fronds. Blechnum egregium can be separated by its fully or near fully adnate pinnae, usually gradually reducing in length to the frond base and with a relatively short stipe.


T.C.Chambers & P.A.Farrant 2001 – In: Blumea: 337
U.S. Expl. Exped. 1855: Atlas Filic.: pl. 16
Brownlie 1977: p. 317. – In: Beih. Nova Hedwigia: pl. 34, f. 4, 5